An emerging category of software – Tag Management Systems (TMS) – solves these critical digital marketing challenges. Major players including IBM and Adobe moved into the tag management space in late 2011. A flourishing of coverage at the start of 2012 by research firms including Forrester, Gartner, Web Analytics Demystified and eConsultancy has validated the legitimacy and growing importance of Tag Management Systems to web analytics, online advertising and IT professionals.
Ensighten is the innovator in enterprise-grade tag management and website compliance, supporting major global brands and providing unparalleled speed and reliability.
Ensighten’s suite of products helps digital marketers:
- Accelerate page load times by off-loading excessive code
- Quickly deploy, test, and manage tags
- Ensure accuracy and legal compliance of tag data collection
By contrast, you can leverage Ensighten Manage 2.0 simply by deploying a single line of HTML code on the pages of your web site. We recommend placing the code at the very beginning of the HEAD section of each page:
The easiest and the most efficient way of deploying the code is by inserting it into a template or master pages that are used for generating each page on a web site. This ensures that all pages of the web site contain the code.
The HTML code is static, meaning it does not require any customization or any changes after deployment. It does not ever change and requires no variable declarations for it to function, so it will never require the modification of your site for it to function. The tag is implemented only once and does not involve any maintenance by web server administrators or developers.
If you open that page in your browser and view the source, you will see a simple img tag:
<html> <head></head> <body> <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OP68NnlxdKY/UJpn2bjajKI/AAAAAAAASMI/uQ3JTHE0qpQ/s400/cassini_saturn_ tinymimas.jpg" alt="" /> </body> </html>
The browser requests this URL, and HTML is returned. The browser’s rendering engine parses the HTML and builds what’s called the DOM (or the document object model) for this page. Inside the DOM there is an image. The browser asks its cache if it already has that image. If so, it retrieves the image from its local cache. Otherwise, it submits a request to the browser’s fetching engine, which will then generate an HTTP request to the web server that has the image. That web server will generate an HTTP response that includes the resource (the image in this case). Once the image is obtained from cache or the fetching engine, the browser’s rendering engine will then display it on the page. This same mechanism is how data is collected by web analytic, online advertising, and optimization tools:
To change the request to a web beacon, add a query string to the source location of the image.
For example, the string ?name=value&key=value&page=home%20 page&browser=Firefox was added to the HTML for the web page:
<head></head> <body> <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OP68NnlxdKY/UJpn2bjajKI/AAAAAAAASMI/uQ3JTHE0qpQ/s400/cassini_saturn_ tinymimas.jpg?name=value&key=value&page=home%20page&browser=Firefox" alt=""/> </body> </html>
The servers for a marketing tool like Webtrends or Google Analytics would be looking for that specific data in the query string and would retrieve, process, and save it.
Tools are available for inspecting web beacons. You can use a proxy tool such as Charles (see Charles Web Debugging Proxy Application) to retrieve the image request URL. To decode the URL and view it in a readable form, paste it into a site such as http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/.
The HTTP interactions for marketing technologies deployed with Ensighten mostly depend on GET methods. The HTTP headers contain metadata that is often collected by marketing technology vendors, and are also important to the usage of browser cookies, which can sometimes be set via a web server in an HTTP RESPONSE HEADER directive called Set-Cookie. Many marketing technologies assign a visitor ID, which is not personally identifiable, to each person that visits their website. In many cases this visitor ID is stored in a persistent browser cookie that is set by a web server and helps the tool to either track data at the individual visitor level or personalize the site experience for that visitor.